Mooring Fees, Transfer Rules May Change

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Mooring fees and the rules regarding mooring transfers may soon change – pending Newport Beach City Council final approval – following a Harbor Commission meeting last week on the topic.

The Harbor Commission finalized their recommendations for mooring administration and the rules and regulations concerning moorings at a meeting on April 7.

More than 75 people packed the Community Room at the NB Civic Center to listen to and participate in the discussion.

Last week’s meeting was the culmination of several meetings and many hours of discussion with members of the public, mooring permit holders and Newport Mooring Association members. Between 80 to 100 people attended each of the four meetings.

“There was a lot of good input,” said Harbor Resources Manager Chris Miller after the meeting.

The two major issues were mooring fees and mooring transfer rules, Miller said.

Both annual mooring permit fees and transfer fees were discussed.

The current mooring permit fee is about $55 per foot, per year, and the transfer fee is 50 percent of the annual permit fee, Miller explained.

The recommended changes from the Harbor Commission would set the permit fee at about $25 per foot, per year, and the transfer fee at 100 percent of the permit fee.

This will keep it relatively the same overall, he noted.

There would be no fee to transfer between trust of family members.

They don’t know what rate the council will ultimately decide upon for either fee, Miller emphasized. It could be what the Harbor Commission recommends or anything in between.

The rules on mooring transfers was also heavily discussed at the meeting.

“That was one of the major things that everyone wanted to change coming into this discussion,” Miller said.

Currently, a mooring can be transferred two times within the 10 year life of the permit. After that time period the owner would have to give it back to the city of Newport Beach, the city would pay the owner for the mooring tackle and then pass it on to the next person on the waiting list.

The commission’s recommendation to council will be to allow one transfer per year.

The commission will also recommend abolishing the wait list, Miller added. It has never really worked and hasn’t moved in decades, he noted.

Another recommended change is to start a city sponsored webpage that will list all the moorings currently for sale. People will be able to gather information and compare prices through the site.

They will also suggest no changes to the rules for renting moorings to visiting boaters, Miller added. The city can rent it out and the funds can be put back into the harbor.

The commission will likely present their recommendations to City Council within the next few months, scheduling permitting.

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